There Are Six Nonprofits With Plans For The Old Winter Park Library
There are six nonprofits with plans for the old Winter Park library. The progress of two city-owned properties was discussed earlier this month. The scopes of work were presented for the old library, and the parking lot behind Seven Oaks Park, located by the intersection of Orange and Denning.
The Seven Oaks location has been deliberated as a potential option for a new Winter Park Playhouse building, but officials agreed that extra uses needed to be weighed with the caveat that any development plan should serve the community as an arts, local history, or cultural scene.
The repurposing of the old library building has been the topic of continuous arguments stemming from strict redevelopment rules that prohibited potential developers from demolishing the building and limited the range of possible tenants. The city recently agreed to relax some of the limitations and accepts the possibility of replacing the 33,000-square-foot building with new construction.
Officials previously stated that preference would be given to local nonprofit organizations that would like to partner with the city to repurpose the building, replace it with a new facility, or develop a space that fits within a multi-tenant plan.
The Following Organizations Replied
Central Florida Vocal Arts: The performing arts organization from Winter Park, suggests a co-op space serving all of Winter Park’s arts organizations. The concept showcases a training school for performing and visual arts instruction and would fill the entire building with teaching, administration, and rehearsal facilities, but not a performance site.
SkyBuilders 4 All: Started in 2020, the organization supports the production and preservation of building structures related to the affordable housing, health, and education needs of local communities. The suggestion is for the use of a 1,000-square-foot space for administration, project planning, and meetings.
SOAR (Saving Our Aeronautical Resources) Museum: The growing nonprofit, currently in the early stages for forming a 501(c)(3), suggests the existing building be turned into an aeronautics and space museum with a planetarium, space camp, and exhibits that include a launch pad.
Winter Park History Museum: The long-lasting local organization, currently operating in a 900-square-foot space, requests 5,000 square feet to build a 4,000-square-foot exhibit space with the remainder devoted to on-the-spot archives and administration.
Winter Park Playhouse: The two-decade-old performing arts society has discussed various proposals for a new location since announcing the loss of its current lease. Its letter summarizes a curiosity in partnering with the city on a new theater building for the former Winter Park Library. A total of 12,000-15,000 square feet of space is required with 5,000 square feet dedicated to the theater, which needs a ceiling height of 20-25 feet.
Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival: Presently functioning in an 800-square-foot leased space, the organization desires the same amount for working needs, business purposes, and archives storage that includes the festival poster collection. It also suggests a partnership with other nonprofits in the development of a 1,500-square-foot shared meeting space and offers the chance for a yet-to-be-determined art gallery for the storage and exhibition of the city’s Best of Show Collection, made up of the winners of past festivals.
Developers will have a chance to submit their own pitches for the library building, and for the Seven Oaks Park property, during a 3-4 month petitioning period that will begin when scopes of work for both projects are approved. A review of all proposals will begin at the end of the petitioning period.
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